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IMA Lighthill-Thwaites Prize

The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), in cooperation with the Institute’s Journal of Applied Mathematics and the British Applied Mathematics Colloquium (BAMC), will award the IMA Lighthill-Thwaites Prize in Applied Mathematics in 2017.

This biennial prize has been established by the IMA in recognition of the achievement of its first two Presidents – Professors Sir James Lighthill and Sir Bryan Thwaites – in laying the foundations of what has become a major scientific institute.  It was their mutual interest in the education and training of young people, as much as their involvement in applied mathematics, that has shaped the conditions of the Prize as detailed below.



Call for Submissions

The call for submissions to the IMA Lighthill-Thwaites Prize 2017 is now open.  The deadline for the Lighthill-Thwaites prize is Friday 2nd December 2016.  Entries should be received electronically as a pdf file.  Each candidate should include a brief CV and indicate that s/he would be available to present her/his paper at BAM/BAMC 2017, which will be held at the University of Surrey from 10th - 12th April 2017.  Any joint paper must be accompanied by a statement from the co-authors agreeing to the submission and detailing the contributions of each author to the paper.


The award will be based on a submitted piece of work that describes an aspect of the candidate's original research in any area of the application of mathematics and is suitable for presentation at the BAMC.  Papers submitted for consideration can be on any subject covered within the scope of the IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics.

All works including those that have been published, submitted for publication (either to an IMA journal or elsewhere), or which have not yet been submitted will be eligible so long as the work is an original piece of research.  No person may submit more than one paper.  Candidates from previous competitions, except the winner, are also permitted to enter.

A joint paper may be submitted by a candidate if accompanied by a statement from the co-authors agreeing to the submission and detailing the contribution of the candidate to the paper.  It is anticipated that candidates will have made the major contribution to any joint work submitted.

Finalists will be expected to submit an article for publication in the IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics, which should be related in some way to the paper submitted for the prize.

Please send your entry to


The Editorial Board of the IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics together with the BAMC Standing Committee will appoint a distinguished group of up to six applied mathematicians to serve on an Adjudicating Panel.

The Adjudicating Panel will review all submissions and decide on a shortlist of some five or six candidates.  The papers must be suitable for a lecture at the BAMC to be delivered to a general audience of applied mathematicians.  Shortlisted candidates will be designated as 'Finalists' and invited to present their papers at a special session of the BAMC in 2017 entitled the ‘IMA Lighthill-Thwaites Prize Minisymposium’.

Judging will take place at the BAMC 2017 by the Adjudicating Panel.  A winner will be chosen based on the quality and originality of the paper, the presentation (up to 30 minutes duration), and the responses of the candidates to questions.

Either before or after the award, Finalists will be expected to submit an article (preferably related to the topic of their prize presentation) for publication in the IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics.  These articles will be subject to refereeing by the Adjudicating Panel and/or others.

Note that the British Applied Mathematics Colloquium is held each spring at a different venue in the UK.  Unfortunately, travel funds are not generally available to assist Finalists who are invited to present their work at the BAMC.

The Prize

There will be one prize winner who will receive a certificate and £1000 co-funded jointly by Sir Bryan Thwaites and the IMA.


Submissions will be accepted from any candidates who, on the deadline submission date, have spent no more than five years in further study or full time equivalent work since completing their undergraduate studies.  Applications are particularly welcome from those who are currently studying for or have recently completed a PhD.  The prize is also open to undergraduate-level students.

The recipient can be of any nationality.


Questions concerning this prize should be directed to the IMA or via email to


IMA Lighthill-Thwaites Prize previous winners »